From Iceland — President Recommends Opening Gifts On Christmas Day

President Recommends Opening Gifts On Christmas Day

Published December 26, 2016

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Contrary to the Icelandic tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve, President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson told reporters he believes opening the gifts on Christmas Day is a more sensible tradition.

Guðni and family are reportedly enjoying their first Christmas at the presidential residence of Bessastaðir, Vísir reports. Iceland’s First Lady, Eliza Reid, hails from Canada, and the North American traditional gift-opening day is Christmas Day; in Iceland, it’s Christmas Eve.

On what day to open the presents is often a point of contention in couples of Icelandic and North American heritage, but in this instance, Guðni has been won over.

“Our Christmas is for the most part traditional, maybe with the exception that we have the tradition that Eliza grew up with in Canada to get the presents out on Christmas morning,” he said. “On the other hand, there are negotiations at play here, as the children have figured out that we’re following a different tradition here and their friends are opening gifts on Christmas Eve, but I recommend this. There is more peace and calm over everything when you have the whole day to open presents, and maybe when I’ve been in office a bit longer I’ll see if I can issue an executive order about this.”

Guðni was, for the record, being facetious about issuing any executive orders about when presents should be opened.

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